Ready, Set, Go! Olympics in Email Marketing

The Olympics is a worldwide sporting phenomenon with over 200 countries competing and it only comes ever four years. Every country, sports fan, and non-sports fan alike are sharing these moments of the games together to watch who’s the faster, stronger, better athlete. It’s no wonder hundreds of millions of people are following the Olympics closely with such blazing enthusiasm. So which brands are taking advantage of the Olympic fever in their email program?

The brands included are sponsoring the eight summer sporting categories on Return Path’s Email Olympics 2016 site. Read on to discover the brands that stole the show and took home gold for the most effective brand tie-in with the Olympics.

Nike’s “Meet Olympian _____” email series launched in early June and was sent out bi-weekly leading into August. The series spotlighted athletes representing USA in the 2016 Rio Olympics across various sports events. The subject lines were clear and concise to any reader, “Meet Olympian ______”.

Nike seamlessly promotes its products by showcasing what clothing and gear the Olympic athlete is wearing in the email. There’s a clear call-to-action button across all emails to “Shop” that specific collection. What further makes these emails so effective and relevant is it looks like they were targeted based on gender. Nike realizes the importance of segmenting your list and not going with a one-size fits all approach. In this series, for example, subscribers that opted into the Male category for emails would receive the “Meet Olympian Kyrie Irving” message where male clothing pieces were displayed on the athlete. If you’re a subscriber that opted into the Female category for emails, then you would receive the “Meet Olympian Simone Biles” message.

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The average read rate for this series is 25 percent, which is significantly higher than Nike’s average read rate in July, which was only 17 percent based on data from our Inbox Insight tool. With such a high overall read score, it’s clear that Nike knows how to craft winning campaigns.

Bowflex’s “Gold Medal Deals: Save over $733 on a TreadClimber®” email was sent a couple of days after the start of the Rio Olympics. This is an optimal time for Bowflex to promote its 3-day sale of exercise equipment because they’re capitalizing on their subscribers’ excitement and motivation for the games.

Everything from the creative down to the subject line clearly has the Olympic theme and feel to it. The subject line grabs the subscribers’ attention with “Gold Medal”, which is often synonymous with the Olympics. In addition, take a peek at the iconic torch, the subtle skyline of Rio de Janeiro behind the text “Train like a champion”, and did you notice the coupon code is RIOWALK in their content? The message is relevant, skimmable, and has clear call-to-action buttons. Bowflex definitely hit all the marks for best practices with this email.

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To see what other brands are competing for the gold, silver, & bronze medal across various email metrics (spam rate, read rate, complaint rate), then race over to Return Path’s Email Olympics 2016 site.

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